"Happy Mind, Happy Life."

Month: November 2018

Blog #18

Revision Strategy:After my peer review experience, I have a general idea of what I need to revise for the final paper. My goals are to narrow my thesis and overall argument so that I can have a more general focus in my paper, incorporate more of John Armstrong in relation to my argument about nature being beautiful, and reorganize my paragraphs so that they make the most sense. The first step would be to figure out exactly what, specifically, I want to argue. I want to argue the beauty of nature and the emotions and realizations received from this. By doing this, I will be able to narrow my thesis and focus my paper more on these exact elements. The second step would be to reread Armstrong’s essay and make a list of relevant quotes from it that connect well to my argument. The last step, with all of this information sorted out, would be to rethink how I will organize it into paragraphs. I think I need to look at my topic sentences and make an outline again, making sure the information flows well. My biggest challenge will be figuring out exactly what I want to argue and relating it to every aspect of this prompt in terms of including all of my sources. If a challenge arises that proves to be too difficult for me, I will consult the Little Seagull & They Say/I Say books, as they have proved to be very helpful. If I am still having trouble, I will consult a peer or Professor Emerson for insight.

Blog #16

Introduction: (thesis) Although beauty is truly defined by oneself, creating infinite definitions of beauty, beauty to me means elements of nature, the emotions one feels from these elements, and the overall message received from this.

“Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” (Armstrong).

“…The sense drive which lives in the moment and seeks immediate gratification…craves contact and possession” (Armstrong).

“…The form drive [is] the inner demand for coherence over time, for abstract understanding and rational order” (Armstrong).

Body 1: (claim) Beauty can be found and experienced through nature and the process of being outdoors.

Quotes from podcasts from John, Taylor F, and Taylor M’s group.

Body 2: (claim) An important part of something that is considered beautiful are the emotions that it causes one to experience.

“When we recognise beauty in a piece of music, or the graciousness of someone’s conduct, we see things that we know we have neglected or betrayed, and we feel an astonishing combination of anguish and delight” (Armstrong).

Quote from John’s podcast about taking time out of a stressful day to appreciate the moment in which he just enjoyed what the tree was showing him. Quote about the experience of really being in a place.

Quote from Taylor F’s podcast about the emotions of new beginnings.

Body 3: (claim) An essential element of the understanding of beauty is recognizing the deeper meaning that is being conveyed when one is in this moment of exposure.

“If we want to understand beauty, we can’t just talk about the things we find beautiful. We have to talk about our lives” (Armstrong).

“More importantly, these experiences of beauty teach us how we should be” (Armstrong).

“It was nice to be reminded of the simple things—that it brings a lot of joy just to be outside” (My chosen article).

“And he came to the unnerving – but perhaps correct – conviction that ambitious social reform would always be frustrated until a much larger number of people had reached a higher level of inner development of the sort enabled by beauty” (Armstrong).

Quote from Taylor’s podcast about looking at life in general now more and never taking the time to look around and notice people and places until now. 

Counter: (claim) I recognize the many ways people can experience something beautiful and understand that there is not one single definition of beauty.

“We have all had the mysterious experience of finding something beautiful” (Armstrong).

Conclusion: (claim) If one can understand beauty and develop their own definition, the experience will truly be rewarding.

*I will make sure to reference my community thoroughly within my paper; I know it is not included much in this outline.


Blog #15

I chose an article from the National Geographic site entitled, “Maine’s Coast by Land and Water.” In this article, Krystle Wright kayaks the coast of Maine and explores along the way. The author describes Krystle’s experience; she first cycles on Maine’s rural roads and notices the bright fall foliage. She specifically includes this bright fall foliage as a trademark to the New England area. The author describes Maine as consistently having new ways to explore the outdoors and new parts of Maine to see.  After biking on the main land, she then kayaks on the coast of Maine, making sure to include that one of the best parts was seeing and interacting with all of the wildlife. After this, she returns to the campsite that she has set up and sits by the fire. She mentions that the world can be a busy, fast-moving place, so “it was nice to be reminded of the simple things—that it brings a lot of joy just to be outside.” I view beauty as something that can catch your eye enough to make you experience some strong emotion and feel overcome with a sense of joy to have experienced it. The first idea that comes to mind for me would be nature and the outdoors. It is not as much about the physical features of the nature as it is the emotions and feelings that seeing and experiencing these features evoke. This article works nicely to explain the features of my community, Maine, that were particularly striking and beautiful, but also uncover the message that Wright was trying to portray: sometimes we need to stop and remember the simple things that bring us joy.

The presentations I chose were John’s and Taylor F’s. These presentations not only fit well with my personal definition of beauty, but they both caused me to really think about what the interviewee was saying. The interviewee in John’s podcast claimed that beauty was about being outdoors and the experience of being in a place. He discussed how there was an oak tree that changed color and was very beautiful for him; he took time out of his day to appreciate this moment. Taylor’s interviewee discussed the forest being a beautiful place and she learned to take time to listen to the forest and experience it coming to life. Both of these viewpoints were very inspiring and confirmed my definition of beauty.

Blog #14

I agree with Armstrong when he states, “To regard beauty as a luxury adornment or a social signifier was to miss the true potential of the experience.” I believe what he is trying to say is that we will miss out on the experiencing true beauty that will “elevate the soul” if we focus on the social class and material aspects that can be associated with beauty. I also view beauty in this way. I believe that there are infinite definitions of beauty and defining beauty should be determined on a personal level, however, beauty should not be limited to this idea of social status and materialistic qualities. Beauty is about looking beneath the surface and viewing someone or something in a new way; as Armstrong describes it, “…We see things that we know we have neglected or betrayed, and we feel an astonishing combination of anguish and delight.” And I believe that my community, who I define as my family and close friends, feels the same way about beauty too. My family is not of a particular high social status. Similarly, we are not consumed by material things. We have a lot of beauty in our lives, and I can guess most of the beauty is not based off of some materialistic idea. My community would define beauty as a moment, person, place, etc. that could somehow move them and cause them to experience this strong emotion of elevating the soul. With so many definitions and experiences associated with beauty, every individual can feel the joy, but also pain, of what they feel is beautiful.

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